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Everything you need to know about UPC barcodes

Amazon Barcodes: What you need to know about UPC, ASIN, FNSKU and SKU

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When you first start out selling on Amazon. It can get rather confusing on which barcodes you are going actually need on your product and the meaning behind each one. Like whats the difference between a UPC and ASIN. Do you need a FNSKU and a SKU. What do I put on the labels that I have to print to send in inventory to Amazon FBA.

Through this article I am going to explain the difference between each one of the numbers and what you are going to actually need for your product and listing.

The first thing you are going to need is a UPC code for your product. you won’t be able to create a product listing without one.


What is an UPC Barcode?

UPC Code Example

A UPC code is generally a 12 digit code that is a unique identifier for your product. UPC stands for Universal Product Code. Depending on your region there is different types of code from EAN to UPC. Generally UPC is used in the United States while EAN is used within Europe.


Where to Buy UPC Barcodes for Amazon?

Amazon requires you to have a GS1 UPC barcode in order to create a product listings. If you are sourcing from a manufacturer make sure to ask if they supply one already. otherwise you will either have to buy your own GS1 UPC barcode or apply for GTIN exemption. Remember if you apply and get GTIN exemption then you will not need a barcode for your product.

Where to get a GS1 barcode?

The only way to obtain a legitimate GS1 barcode is the visit gs1.org no other site if officially licensed to sell the barcodes.

How much does it cost to get a GS1 Barcode?

Getting a GS1 barcode can be rather expensive. With the first year of having a company prefix barcode ranging from $250 for 10 products. (If your product has variations they will need there own barcode.)to $10,500 for 100,000 products. There is also a renewal fee every year for the barcodes which ranges from $50 to 2100 respectfully.

There is also other ways of obtaining a GS1 barcode. Some companies will sell old GS1 barcodes that where made years ago with a company that no longer exist. While these might work on Amazon for now. Rules can change which might put your account at risk so I won’t be listing any companies that might sell these.


What is a FNSKU?

A FNSKU is used for Amazon FBA. This will be a unique product identifier used by Amazon fulfillment centers. This will have to be printed or labeled on each product that you are sending into Amazon FBA. When you change a product to fulfilled by Amazon amazon will automatically assign a FNSKU to your listing. Once you have the FNSKU this will be permeant for this product as long as it is in Amazon database.


How to get a FNSKU?

First you will need to set your product to fulfilled by Amazon. Under the manage inventory tab going to the edit button next to the product that you want to change.

And select “Change to fulfilled by Amazon”. once you selected this Amazon will automatically generate your FNSKU for your product listing. Give Amazon about 15 minutes to update the listing within seller central. After a little while you will be able to do the following step.

Next you will need to print the FNSKU labels for you to use these on your products. Just like changing the product to fulfilled by Amazon. Click the edit button next to your desired product.

Then Select print item labels and follow the instructions. you will be able to download the desired format that you can use with your label printer. If you are creating your own sticker then select just one but be careful when resizing the images you want to make sure to keep the same ratio otherwise the barcode might not work.


SKU

An SKU is a internal unique identifier. Meaning you can create any combination of letters and numbers to identify your product. SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit. Which is generally a shorten version or unique identifier to represent your product.

I recommend coming up with your own internal version on how your create your SKU. Once you have a system you will most likely be referring or remember your product by the SKU number and not the actually title of the listing. Having a proper SKU system is also beneficial when you start to have variations of your product.

For Example if you are selling a T-shirt with a banana on it your SKU might look something like this BNA-XL-RD. This would tell you its a Extra Large Red Banana shirt. Then all you have to do is change the XL to a L for Large or change the RD to BLU for red to blue. Once you have a system in place it makes it easier for you to change things and remember what product you are talking about.


What is an ASIN?

ASIN works similar to a SKU but instead of it being your own unique identifier. It is Amazons Unique identifier for your product. Once you create a product, Amazon will automatically assign an ASIN to your product. This ASIN can be used when calling into Amazon, they will most likely ask for this number.

You can find you ASIN on your product listing in the Product Information Section. Just look for ASIN, it should look similar to this B07XK1JSNZ

Also ASIN should be listing inside seller central next to your SKU under the manage inventory tab.


Conclusion

So the only codes that you will need in on your actually product will be the GS1 UPC code and the FNSKU. Which is only used if you are sending products to Amazon FBA. You won’t need it if you are self fulfilling. SKU and ASIN are only used internally with your company and on Amazon. While these don’t have to be placed on your product it is always nice to have to keep things better organized internally.


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